First of all college is not high school. You learn quickly that you have a ton of freedom, however there is a price. You are not going to have teachers who remind you that assignments are due, that reading the book is required to pass a test or if you miss a test you earned a zero. It is all on you now. Scheduling everything will be your biggest challenge. Join student government and other organizations because they will pay off like nothing else. Find the gym and make time in your schedule to exercise several times per week. Use the iPhone applications and textbook websites. They have saved me several times. Rent, trade or borrow books. Visit career services to help you revamp your resume. Even if you’re not looking for a job, some scholarship applications and graduate programs require one. Get to know your professors. Someday their advice will kick in and you will need to thank them. Professors might just provide a stunning recommendation letter if they know you. Now, go see that high school counselor that keeps bugging you to drop by her office for scholarship applications. You can never have enough money for college.
The need for college is a 'no-brainer'. Picking the right college is a tougher proposition. My advice regarding this would be to start early (in your sophomore or junior year of High School) by getting information from and about different colleges and talking to graduates who are already attending college. Find out what the colleges offer, what you can major in and what the general philosophy of the college is (conservative, liberal, smaller college or bigger university, small town or big city, etc.). Look for a college that fits your personality. A bit of investigative research about specific colleges will help you to find a short list of colleges that give you a positive feeling that you would fit in at the college. Once you have this short list, try to visit these colleges. Visits during the school year are good, but visits in the summer are also profitable. Information is a key to making a wise choice. Once the college is chosen and you've graduated from high school there is only one way to succeed - hard work! Remember, your main goal is to get a good education and it is something you have to work at.
Life as a high school senior. Time management is pretty difficult with applying for colleges & scholarships, preparing HOSA meetings, and studying for IB exams, huh? Well, my advice is to set your priorities! Yes, life is about living to the fullest and enjoying everything that life has to offer. But limits need to be reenforced! From my college experience, I?ve learned that students are given a great deal of freedom to choose what they want to do and when to do them. Therefore, it?s easy to become lazy or even the opposite- super involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. The most important reason for attending school is to get an education! So the top priority before all else is academics. Throughout the past year, I?ve been on a roller coaster ride trying to figure out the best studying techniques where I could best retain taught information. From starting with chapter reviews & writing side notes to rewriting and working countless problems repetitively, I?ve done it all. Although some methods worked, a lot of them didn?t. Therefore, I must say to simply focus on school and never give up! You can do it!
“What have I gotten out of my college experience?” Confidence. That’s immediately what pops into my mind. Sure, I’ve gained enough knowledge, practical skills, and officer positions in extra-curriculars to make for one heck of a CV—not to mention friends and mentors I will treasure for a lifetime—but it is combined that these have had the most affect on my life, contributing to a stronger belief in myself that I was lacking in high school. Before college, I never felt like I was much of anything special. Maybe this is because I was home schooled and never had many chances to compare myself to other students to evaluate my progress, or maybe it is because being the youngest sibling to four amazing sisters I spent too much time comparing myself. Or maybe just being a teenage girl is enough of a reason, in and of its self. Whatever the cause, I know that the solution was all the opportunities my school provided for me to prove myself. The value of my attending college hasn’t been of the monetary kind (yet—hopefully, yet), but something I can continually bank on throughout my life: self worth.
I would have said to stay at a community college for the first two years to figure out what you wanted to do and not jump into the deep end by going to a big school with a lot of people. I would try and convince myself to go where the money was instead of attending my "dream school" that turned out to be a complete flop. I would tell myself that family is important and that I should embrace it because you never know how much time you have left with them. I would tell myself that prestige doesn't mean quality and that private doesn't mean bad. I would let myself know that failure is relative and that just because you are smart doesn't always garuntee success. I would encourage myself to apply for scholarships and establish good connections with powerful and successful people. But most importantly I would tell myself to follow my heart because thinking about everything becomes overwhelming and what really matters is that you are happy where you are no matter the circumstances or the place that you are in. If you are not happy, then find what does make you happy.
Yes freshman year will be a bit challenging but not impossible, you must keep this in mind. It will take a while to get used to this new environment, but after doing so, you should be fine. Now the problem I experienced was becoming too relaxed. I didn’t worry as much as I needed to. I thought, well this assignment isn’t due for another month, why bother doing it now? Do not make this mistake! Go ahead and do it. You probably have nothing else to do anyways. This professor has given you the chance to finish this assignment before you become consumed with work from your other courses. This is your opportunity to get ahead. I made a mistake when I chose to wait. When it came time to do my assignment, I had about three others to worry about. This whole entire situation could have been avoided if I would have taken advantage of the opportunity I was given. Your freshman year will be full of new experiences, and new challenges. Don’t worry, just take a deep breathe think things out, but don’t stress yourself. Your freshman year will be an amazing year!
As a senior in high school, I had a general idea of what was in store for me when I arrived in college. For me so far in college, it's not attending classes and making the grades thats the issue, it's knowing that I could have gone to a better school that dwells on me everyday. Wesleyan to me was just a 3rd choice of schools, and I ended up going to it because the other two I really wanted to go to (University of Texas at Austin and Texas Christian University) were just out of my current price range, even thought they accepted me and offered me partial scholarships. I had a very good high school resume and was top of my class so I could have ended up with a much better outcome, and it annoys me that I just ended up settling for an average school rather than an exceptional university because of financial constraints. So if I could go back and tell myself to apply for more scholarships other than just the ones the school offers, I may be a student at a more recognized university and I would be enjoying myself much more.
I think everyone should visit colleges. You may think you know what school is best for you but you should always visit and find the place that best fits. Even if that school is not a known school and is small, if it is the best fit for you then you should go. Meet the people, the professors and the staff. Ask as many questions as you possibly can. Even visit and sit in on a class for the major you may want and see what it is like. Every school is different just like we are all different. Take the time to explore and find a place you feel that fits with you and makes you feel like home. Don't settle for a school because it is popular or because your friends go there. Everyone has a place that is good for them. Take the time to really look and discover what is out there for you. College will be some of the best moments of your life. Get out there, be yourself and enjoy every moment of it because once you graduate you will reflect on all that you have gained educationally, personally, physically and emotionally.
If I could go back to my senior year, the one and only thing I would tell myself is to wait. My senior in high school was supposed to be my greatest year. I made the varsity cheerleading squad and I was captain of the Track Team. Instead I started the school year off 6 months pregnant with my son, his father nowhere in sight. I transferred high school because; I was too embarrassed to face my friends and teachers. It is hard being a single mother and having 2 kids. I have to divide my time being a mother first, a full-time employee and a full-time student. If i would have waited, I would have been able to dive head first in the college experience by living on campus, maybe joining a sorority, and the opportunity to enjoy all classes. I have been given the opportunity to go back to school. I would like to be able to enjoy that, by not worrying about the cost of school. Please consider me for this scholarship. As a High School Senior I did not think about the things I did and what the consequences would be.
If I were able to travel back in time to my high school senior year, I would tell her to trust and believe in herself that she holds the key to unlocking the right furture. I would tell her to relax and remain calm during the hectic times of all her peers being frantic about thier college choices. I would tell her to go for what she knows she could do and attain in her life by choosing the right track. I would tell her to not be afraid of showing her full potential and don't just pick a college from a billboard on the train because it says call today yet she doesnt know why she is calling. I would tell her that the feeling that she has in the pit of her stomach at that very moment is normal and rushing into adulthood choosing the career everyone says she should do isnt really what she wants. I would ask her do you really want to go for something that doesnt fufil her interest. Then I would explain to her the mistake you will make if you don't truly reach for your goals.